Sun and spin

A dinosaur kids ride spun in the bright sunshine at the Meeker County Fair in 2019. The fairgrounds will be silent this summer following a decision by the fair board to cancel the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another summer celebration has fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Meeker County Fair Board announced in an email Tuesday morning the 148th edition of the fair, traditionally held the first weekend in August, would be canceled.

“Our goal is to always support the community with the respect and responsibility for all attendees, workers and volunteers,” the email from fair board Secretary Bobbi Jo Valiant said. “In these difficult times, it is for those same reasons, and with heavy hearts, this decision has been made.... We know this is the correct decision for the fair and to ensure the celebration can go on for the next 150 years.”

The county fair board’s decision follows the announcement last week that the Minnesota State Fair will not take place in 2020.

The Meeker County Fair Board’s decision to cancel the fair came after much reflection and analyzing the costs and challenges of the pandemic — not just as they affect the fair, but also the county as a whole, the statement said.

“As we are a non-profit and rely heavily on our supporters, we also have to keep in mind the impact on the economy of our area,” the email said. “However, with the uncertainty of the times, and unknown challenges or future guidelines we are unable to be fully confident in the fact that it will be safe to gather and celebrate at the beginning of August 2020.”

Having made the decision to cancel this year’s fair, “we can pivot our energy towards continued improvements on the fairgrounds,” the statement said. That includes working with “friends of the fair” on projects and completing updates to buildings and the grounds.

The fair board is considering a community event at some point in the future, the statement said.

“We thank you for your support and patience with us during this difficult time. We appreciate our financial supporters and continue to welcome any donations to assist in the improvements on the fairgrounds,” the release said.

Additional information will be posted on the fair board’s Facebook page or its website at www.meekerfair.com.

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